Embracing Change: Late 2023’s Energy News for Australian Small Businesses

As 2024 unfolds, it’s important to look back at the significant changes in energy policies and climate goals that emerged in Australia at the end of 2023. These developments are crucial for small business owners, highlighting the importance of staying adaptable and informed in a rapidly evolving industry.

NSW’s Strategic Energy Shift
In late 2023, NSW’s Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Penny Sharpe, introduced the ‘Orderly Exit Mechanism.’ This significant policy change, backed the powers to 2021, allowing for more direct governmental control over energy generation facilities like Eraring Power Station. Small business owners in NSW should be aware of these regulatory shifts, as they could have an impact on the state’s energy supply and market prices going forward.

Queensland’s Climate Commitment
Toward the end of 2023, Queensland set an ambitious climate target of 75% below 2005 levels by 2035. This bold move suggests a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and could lead to new regulations and opportunities for small businesses. Embracing renewable energy and sustainable practices may become increasingly important.

The December Energy Surge
On December 29th, the energy market saw a significant spike, with demand exceeding 9,750MW and prices soaring. This highlights the importance of energy efficiency for small businesses. Exploring renewable energy and investing in energy-saving technologies can help mitigate the impact of such market fluctuations.

Coal Seam Gas Regulation
The Department of Resources released a draft framework for Coal Seam Gas regulation, indicating a move towards stricter environmental oversight. Small businesses in related fields should prepare for potential changes in operations and compliance requirements.

Queensland’s Environmental Stance
With the resurgence of the “polluter pays” principle in environmental law, the Queensland government is taking steps to reinforce the Environmental Protection Act of 1994. This initiative is highlighted by the recent release of a consultation paper titled “Improving the Powers and Penalties Provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.” This renewed focus on environmental accountability suggests a shift towards stricter regulations. For small businesses, it means an increased need to be more proactive in managing their environmental impact, thereby ensuring alignment with evolving standards and sustainability practices.

ARENA’s Emission Reduction Initiative
ARENA’s late 2023 launch of a $40 million fund to reduce industrial emissions reflects a broader governmental effort toward sustainability. While targeted at larger facilities, this initiative might open future opportunities for small businesses to participate in emission reduction.

The final months of 2023 marked a turning point for energy and environmental policies in Australia. For small businesses in the energy sector, understanding and adapting to these changes will be key to navigating this new era of sustainability and responsibility.

This is a summary article from Edge2020 – read the original article.

Looking to reduce your business’s energy expenses without any extra cost? Edge Utilities makes it possible through collective purchasing, which enables you to unlock substantial savings. Our focus is on empowering SMEs like yours by fetching the most competitive rates available. You can get in touch with us by emailing us at save@edgeutilities.com.au or calling us at 1800 334 336. Start saving today with Edge Utilities!

Australia’s Energy Crossroads: The Debate Over Nuclear Power

Australia’s ban on nuclear power, in place since the late 1990s, has recently come into the limelight. With warnings about rising power costs, some government members argue that considering nuclear energy is necessary for the country’s energy stability and economic future.

While some senators push for an evaluation of nuclear energy proposals, the central leadership remains hesitant. They cite concerns, including the financial implications of nuclear power when compared to renewables, questions surrounding the reliability of newer nuclear technologies, and the extended timeline required to establish nuclear plants, which may not align with the country’s renewable energy targets.

Public opinion on nuclear energy remains divided. The debate is further complicated by Australia’s recent ventures into nuclear-based defence initiatives, leading some to ask: if nuclear can be trusted for defence, why not for energy?

As discussions continue, the country finds itself at an energy policy crossroads. The outcome could shape Australia’s energy landscape for decades, emphasizing the need for informed decision-making that balances technology, policy, and public opinion.

This is a summary article from Edge2020 – read the original article.

Save Big on Energy with Edge Utilities! We’re your experts in tapping into the strength of bulk purchasing, aiming to significantly cut down your energy costs without any added expense to your business. Committed to assisting SMEs, we’re here to source the best rates for you.

Eager to see a noticeable difference in your energy bills? Reach out to us at save@edgeutilities.com.au or give us a ring at 1800 334 336. Let’s start your journey to effortless savings!

Sun Cable and the Battle of the Billionaires

Singapore lit up at night

Previously, Edge has discussed the electricity markets’ move away from coal and gas to renewable energy and firming technologies. Last week it was announced that the Australia-Asia PowerLink project (AAPP) better known as SunCable had gone into voluntary administration.

SunCable was planned to be the world’s biggest solar and battery storage project and was backed by some of the largest renewable energy developers in Australia, namely Mike Cannon-Brookes from Grok Ventures and Squadron Energy’s Andrew Forrest.

It appears from the outside the decision to wind up the company was due to a lack of alignment of the companies’ objectives by the shareholders but is there more to the story. SunCable was to provide renewable energy generated in Australia and transport it via a 4,200km underseas cable to Singapore. Powering the project would be a huge solar farm near Elliott in the Northern Territory with the first part of the project planned to start construction next year. The 20GW Elliott solar farm would be firmed with a 42GWh battery.

Following the announcement of SunCable going into administration the federal government remains positive on the future prospect of SunCable. Are two billionaires too much for a business like this? Will one of them retain control of the company?

Feedback from Minister Bowen suggests following discussions with senior individuals at SunCable, there are no plans to stop moving forward with the project.

Minister Bowen said “It’s a change of approach and corporate structure, but of course in that regard that is entirely a matter for them”. Following a restructuring process, it looks like AAPP will still go ahead but most likely led by only one billionaire.

If you would like a strategy to ensure your company procures energy to support sustainability and growth in renewables  please reach out to discuss your options.  To save on electricity spend, you can also join our Edge Utilities Power Portfolio, read more: https://edgeutilities.com.au/edge-utilities-power-portfolio/ or call us on: 1800 334 336 to discuss.